Easy internet access for Hyper-V guests using NAT

Networking with Hyper-V isn’t the easiest thing in the world to wrap your head around and sometimes you just don’t care. You want your guest VMs to have secure access to the internet and your host machine without any of the fuss and complexity of understanding TCP protocol levels, blah, blah, blah.

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Easily monitor your logs using Logwatch

Most every program you install and run, especially services, generate some form of log file and nearly everyone only checks those logs when something bad happens.  Why? Because there are so many logs to check!  Well, that’s where a log parsing program can be a lifesaver.  I like using Logwatch on my Debian/Ubuntu systems. (more…)

Certbot on Debian/Ubuntu for automatically renewed free SSL certs

If you run a server of any kind — mail, web, git, database, whatever — you know the importance of making sure your clients can securely connect.  That all starts with an SSL (or more accurately, TLS) certificate.  For smaller or private installations, many people are relying on Let’s Encrypt since they issue free certificates.  However, those certificates are only good for 90 days and then have to be renewed… that’s a hassle!  Enter Certbot… (more…)

Custom prompt and command aliases: Why I choose bash.bashrc

Working with any Linux distro means you’ll be spending a lot of your time at the prompt.  So, I’m sure you’ve made it your own over time.  Maybe added some colours, the time, important information like the current path, etc.  Plus, I’m sure you’ve created a few command aliases that make your life easier.  But, where do you put this stuff so it’s applied even when you quickly switch to a different user, say root, for some admin work?  When I first started out, I found that everyone seems to recommend putting these preferences in a different place.  Most people suggested /etc/profile while others staunchly advocated the ~/.bashrc file.  I’m going to tell you why I chose option #3, /etc/bash.bashrc. (more…)

Help desk horror stories??? What are you talking about? (Intro)

This is part 1 of 1 in the series Tales from the 'desk... Help desk horror stories

If you’ve done IT support for any length of time, like even 5 minutes helping out your folks, then you’ve run into your share of horror stories.  But, how do you (properly and professionally) handle these situations and explain them to your end users?  What answers do you give them when they ask a valid, if not mundane, question?  I’ve compiled some great answers to the most common questions I get so that you can steal them and use them too, or just laugh at the questions people ask the support-guy! (more…)

Simple way to get email notifications from a linux server

Sometimes you’re running a server to provide a specific service (Webserver, DNS, DHCP, git server, etc.) and you need it to send you status updates via email but do NOT need the overhead and complexity of having it run a mailserver or complicated MTA. You just need a SIMPLE, quick and easy way to have your server send a message over SMTP via a public mailserver… let’s look at msmtp. (more…)

Fix Disappearing OneDrive

Recently, I’ve had my OneDrive seem to uninstall or break itself.  That’s annoying.  The icon in Explorer reverts back to a regular folder and nothing syncs because the client program isn’t running in the background.  Fortunately, it’s an easy fix and everything resets itself without a restart.  Here’s the quick and dirty way to get it done… (more…)

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